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Front Microbiol. 2013 May 28;4:129. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00129. eCollection 2013.

Causes, consequences, and perspectives in the variations of intestinal density of colonization of multidrug-resistant enterobacteria.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Bactériologie, AP-HP, Hôpitaux Paris Nord Val de Seine site Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France.


The intestinal microbiota is a complex environment that hosts 10(13) to 10(14) bacteria. Among these bacteria stand multidrug-resistant enterobacteria (MDRE), which intestinal densities can substantially vary, especially according to antibiotic exposure. The intestinal density of MDRE and their relative abundance (i.e., the proportion between the density of MDRE and the density of total enterobacteria) could play a major role in the infection process or patient-to-patient transmission. This review discusses the recent advances in understanding (i) what causes variations in the density or relative abundance of intestinal colonization, (ii) what are the clinical consequences of these variations, and (iii) what are the perspectives for maintaining these markers at low levels.


antibiotics; carriage; concentration; extended-spectrum beta-lactamases; microbiota

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